The Baguio City Council has approved on the third and final reading an ordinance that seeks to highlight Baguio City’s distinct culture, arts, and traditions. Once implemented, the ordinance shall create the Baguio City Culture and Arts Council (BCCAC).
Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, the main author, cited in the ordinance Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular No. 133, Series 2017 which enjoins all local government units to legislate for the establishment of a Local Culture and the Arts Council.
He also mentioned the Philippine and Regional Development Plans which underscore the promotion of culture-sensitive governance and development and greater awareness of diverse cultures and values.
According to the ordinance, the BCCAC shall strive to further deepen people’s understanding and appreciation towards diverse arts and cultures in the city. It shall align its mandates on the Philippine Strategic Framework to Promote Philippine Culture and Values and shall progressively promote culture-centered programs and policies in local development efforts and governance.
It shall comprise of the city mayor as the chairperson, a representative from the Culture and Arts sector as a co-chairperson, the city planning and development coordinator as the vice-chairperson, and the local cultural officer as the action officer. Members shall consist of concerned city department heads and representatives of various government agencies.
One of its main mandates is to take the lead in policy recommendations related to local culture and arts to attain “cultural appreciation and empowerment” among the locals. Recommendations may include legislative measures for the protection and permissible support of local cultural workers, bearers, and artists.
It shall also assist the city government in setting up its cultural agenda which may include institutionalizing heritage conservation plans and programs and assess culture and arts-related programs of the city government deemed to be eligible for execution.
Likewise, it shall assist the education sector in mainstreaming cultural education in the basic, technical, vocational, and higher education systems in support and in compliance with the Philippine and Regional Development Plans.
An amount of two million pesos shall be appropriated each year from the annual budget of the City Planning and Development Office. The funding shall be primarily for culture and arts program policy research and development in aid of legislation, public consultations, collaborative meetings, and policy vetting, assessment, and formulation.
In 2021, the Creative Baguio City Council (CBCC) was created through Ordinance 46-2021 also authored by Cayabas. The main mandate of CBCC is to also take the lead in policy recommendations with an end view of growing a progressive and responsive local creative economy. It is also tasked to assess and review creative-related programs of the city and at the same time “empower” all stakeholders in the creative sector and industry. -Jordan G. Habbiling